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Bobby asks the four candidates if they are willing to put Suffolk County first (Credit: David Bernstein, WBUR)

 
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  • There are four progressive candidates in the race, all of which will split the vote and allow Greg Henning to win the Democratic primary on September 4, 2018

  • Because Massachusetts does not have ranked choice voting, the candidates will have to agree to rally around one candidate in order to prevent this from happening

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Candidates were asked the following question on June 1, 2018 and were graded on whether they answered before June 15, 2018 +

Are you open to the idea of meeting with the other three progressive candidates prior to July 4, agreeing on a set of criteria, and choosing one candidate amongst yourselves to run against Greg Henning unopposed? (4 grade points)

 

Evandro Carvalho' Response +

(-4) Candidate did not answer by June 15

Grade: F (4.0 – 4.0 = 0.0)

Grade Points for this Section: 0.0 x 5% = 0.0

Further elaboration on question 1 in the section below needed by July 23, 2018 to improve grade (due to candidate not answering by June 15, best possible grade = B, 3.0)

Linda Champion's Response +

(-4) Candidate did not answer by June 15

Grade: F (4.0 – 4.0 = 0.0

Grade Points for this Section: 0.0 x 5% = 0.0

Further elaboration on question 1 in the section below needed by July 23, 2018 to improve grade (due to candidate not answering by June 15, best possible grade = B, 3.0)

Greg Henning's Response +

N/A

Shannon McAuliffe's Response +

(-4) Candidate did not answer by June 15

Grade: F (4.0 – 4.0 = 0.0)

Grade Points for this Section: 0.0 x 5% = 0.0

Further elaboration on question 1 in the section below needed by July 23, 2018 to improve grade (due to candidate not answering by June 15, best possible grade = B, 3.0)

Rachael Rollins's Response +

"Yes."

Final Grade: A (4.0 – 0.0 = 4.0)

Grade Points for this Section: 4.0 x 5% = .20

No further information needed from candidate in this section.

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Evandro Carvalho, Linda Champion, and Shannon McAuliffe had from July 8, 2018 to July 23, 2018 to answer the following question. Only Rachael Rollins submitted an answer by deadline +

Are you open to the idea of meeting with the other three progressive candidates prior to August 4, agreeing on a set of criteria, and choosing one candidate amongst yourselves to run against Greg Henning unopposed? (3 grade points)

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  Photo of the Roxbury Division of the Boston Municipal Court. Credit: habeebarch.com

Photo of the Roxbury Division of the Boston Municipal Court. Credit: habeebarch.com

 
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  • In order to reform the system, a candidate will need to have a thorough working knowledge of the different contact points along the criminal court continuum

  • In order to run a large office with over 100 lawyers, prior experience managing large numbers of staff and overseeing large budgets is helpful

  • Knowledge of Suffolk County staff and courts, and trial experience before Suffolk County judges and juries, is a bonus.

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JP Progressives Candidates Survey +

1 - What experience qualifies you to effectively manage the District Attorney's Office including over 300 staff and 150 attorneys and processing 30,000+ cases annually?*

Perfect D.A. Scorecard Follow-up Questions +

1 - How many criminal jury trials has the candidate first-chaired, and in which courts? (1 grade point)

2 - Has the candidate ever managed a large staff? How many employees were under the candidate’s supervision? What size was the largest budget candidate ever managed? (2 grade points)

3 - Does the candidate have an intimate working knowledge of municipal and superior court divisions in Suffolk County? (1 grade point)

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Evandro Carvalho's Response +

1 - “I am uniquely qualified to be the next District Attorney. As a former prosecutor, working in Roxbury and West Roxbury District Courts and the Downtown gun court, I saw the way the system works and the families that were cycling in and out with no help or direction. Living in Dorchester, I know the families that are living in fear. I have attended too many wakes and funerals in my neighborhood of children and teenagers that have lost their lives to guns. I bring a unique perspective that will transcend the traditional role of the DA's Office.”

1, 2, 3 - N/A Candidate did not respond by deadline.

Grade Point Deductions:

(-1) Candidate does not mention number of criminal jury trials completed

(-2) Candidate does not mention supervising employees. Candidate does not mention budgets overseen or size

(-0.0) Candidate has experience in multiple Suffolk County courts and divisions

Grade: D (4.0 – 3.0 = 1.0)

Grade Points for this Section: 1.0 x 5% = 0.05

Linda Champion' Response +

1 - “I have been an attorney for over 15 years. I am Assistant General Counsel for the Commonwealth of MA-DIA (5 years). Former Suffolk County ADA (2 years) I have built business incl. non-profits and managed a law practice, hired, trained and managed lawyers, paralegals, law clerks, and administrative staff (7 years). I have managed Geno Bellotti Learning Center for Suffolk University. I served as an Adjunct Professor at Suffolk University for over 10 years teaching a required course. I have served as a college Trustee for Newbury College. In 2014, I revived for Urban Edge its entity UEREGB created in the late 70s, serve on that entity's board and oversee it management which includes a staff of 27 professionals which works within the community where we are collectively responsible for the management of hundreds of residents.”

1, 2, 3 - N/A Candidate did not respond by deadline.

Grade Point Deductions:

(-1) Candidate does not mention number of criminal jury trials completed

(-1.75) Candidate does not specifically mention number of employees supervised. Candidate does not mention budgets overseen or size

(-.25) Candidate does not mention Suffolk County courts and divisions that she worked in as an assistant district attorney

Grade: D (4.0 – 3.0 = 1.0)

Grade Points for this Section: 1.0 x 5% = 0.05

Greg Henning's Response +

1 - “Before taking a leave of absence in March, I was the supervisor of the Gang Unit in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office – one of the largest units in the office – including over a dozen attorneys plus support staff. I was responsible for reviewing and assigning every single firearm case in Suffolk County courts (the Dorchester, Roxbury, Central, West Roxbury, South Boston, East Boston, and Charlestown Divisions of the Boston Municipal Court, and the Chelsea District Court). My work involved supervising joint state/federal investigations with the ATF and FBI. I was responsible for managing and supervising attorneys in grand jury investigations, which typically includes several dozen cases being presented at the same time. I have also supervised a team of attorneys in the Gun Prosecution Task Force in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office. I have personally managed several hundred cases while working as a district court prosecutor. Most recently, I was personally responsible for a caseload of more than a half dozen homicide cases at various stages of litigation.”

1, 2, 3 - N/A Candidate did not respond by deadline.

Grade Point Deductions:

(-1) Candidate does not mention number of criminal jury trials completed

(-.75) Candidate has directly supervised small numbers of employees in specialized units in work substantively relevant to supervising DA’s office. Candidate does not mention budgets or size

(-0.0) Candidate has excellent working knowledge of Suffolk County courts and BMC divisions

Grade: C+ (4.0 – 1.75 = 2.25)

Grade Points for this Section: 2.25 x 5% = 0.11

Shannon McAuliffe's Response +

1 - “I have 15 years in the trenches, day in and day out, criminal legal experience. From 1998-2000, I served as a Federal Defender in San Diego where I defended mostly undocumented Mexican nationals from a brutal federal system and from 1998-2000 and again from 2002-2012, I proudly served as a public defender with CPCS in Suffolk County’s 9 District Courts and Superior Court. In those gap years from 2000-2002, I worked at a big law firm practicing civil law to pay off my law school loans and the day I paid them off, I gave my 2 weeks notice and went back to the public defender.

  • Transformational change will require 2 ingredients and neither is the number of people managed but rather deep, relevant criminal legal experience and leading progressive reform organizations in challenging spaces, requiring commitment, accountability, toughness and an unwavering belief in real justice for all.

  • Law: You cannot change a system you do not know. Through years of experience and representing thousands of clients in Suffolk County criminal courts, I understand what, when and how things go wrong as well as the pressure points that need to change. Transformation will require engaging and moving the judiciary, probation, police, DYS, clerks, court officers, defense attorneys and the community and I have vast experience in this specific ecosystem.

  • Reform: Four years ago, when I became a director at Roca, an innovative, data-driven reform organization, I took on the tough and relevant battle of getting serious offenders and gang members out of the cycle of incarceration. Roca’s 79% success rate, working with hundreds of those individuals that nobody else -- including the DA’s own diversion programs -- would work with, speaks for itself.

This is the example of leadership that has been set for the state and the nation on how to make us safer and it’s the exact kind of leadership that this office requires. I have a proven track record of managing and progressing change.

Lastly, I have spent the last 20 years sitting face to face with the people affected most by the criminal justice system, listening to them and understanding what brought them to where they arrived. I viewed defendants as the troubled and traumatized people they almost always were, not as things to only punish. I sought smart, strategic solutions to make defendants stronger and less likely to commit crime. I have already done what the next DA must accomplish.”

1, 2, 3 - N/A Candidate did not respond by deadline.

Grade Point Deductions:

(-1) Candidate does not mention number of criminal jury trials completed

(-.5) Candidate has directly supervised medium numbers of employees in work substantively relevant to supervising a DA’s office, including responsibility for hiring and firing a diverse staff. Candidate does not mention budgets or size

(-0.0) Candidate has excellent working knowledge of Suffolk County courts and BMC divisions

Final Grade: C+ (4.0 - 1.5 = 2.5)

Total Grade Points for this Section: 2.5 x 5% = 0.13

Rachael Rollins's Response +

1 - “I have managed large, highly skilled teams and overseen thousands of cases a year. As General Counsel of the MBTA and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, I supervised over 150 people (lawyers, professionals, para-professionals, and administrators) in over 6 departments (e.g., legal, audit, labor, HR, diversity and civil rights). As the General Counsel of the MBTA, I personally oversaw and managed thousands of cases per year. The MBTA is not represented by the Attorney General’s Office (like MassDOT), so I was personally responsible for the decisions and outcomes in each case. I have been a lawyer for 20+ years and have been a prosecutor and a criminal defense attorney. I have handled and overseen almost every case handled by the SCDAO: death investigations, appeals, forfeitures, child protection, domestic violence, employment discrimination, narcotics, firearms, civil rights violations, OUIs, etc.) and have personally presented cases to the grand jury.”

1 - "The majority of my jury trial experience is civil. I have had extensive civil litigation experience, up to and sometimes including trials.

I have had several jury and bench OUI trials and an ABDW jury trial in Brockton District Court.

I have presented cases to the grand jury while I was an AUSA. The majority of the approximately 37 individuals indicted as a result of that large, multi-jurisdictional, nearly 12-month investigation, ended up taking guilty pleas.

I have had at least two Adam Walsh trials in Federal Court that resulted in sexual child predators remaining incarcerated because they were found to still be sexually dangerous. These defendants were each constitutionally entitled to a federal defender and these trials were weeks long, involved expert medical testimony utilizing the DSM-IV (DSM-V wasn’t out then), took 6-12 months to investigate, had hundred of pages of documents and required extensive and discovery and significant motion practice. We were successful in each instance and the child predators remained incarcerated.

As Chief Legal Counsel at Massport, I oversaw an 18 month death investigation into a plane crash that immediately resulted in 7 deaths. The NTSB and several other federal, state and local agencies were investigating this tragedy. We ended up having multi-state litigation and I obtained outside counsel to assist me and our insurers, and worked daily with them on this enormous, multi-jurisdictional, criminal and civil litigation.

As General Counsel of MassDOT and the MBTA, I was involved in every significant bodily injury or death that occurred on our property, or that involved one of our employees or one of our assets (bus, train, commuter rail).

I also second chaired two large federal trials while I was an associate at Bingham McCutchen and handled significant AAA and NASD arbitrations."

2 - "Yes. I am the only candidate that has ever managed a very large staff. And, as you are well aware, the DA does not try cases, she sets policy, procedure and culture and runs an office of 275 employees, with a budget of $19M that handles 34,000 cases per year.

While at the MBTA and MassDOT, I managed, supervised and led over 150 employees (many of which were lawyers) in 6 different departments. I have negotiated collective bargaining agreements, supervised unionized lawyers (CPCS is unionizing and ADA’s have tried in the past to unionize due to incredibly low wages), overseen extensive audits into wage and promotion disparities (the Equal Pay Act just went into effect on July 1, 2018 and there may well be litigation based on wage disparities in the SCDAO), defended class action lawsuits, investigated employment discrimination complaints, and trained staff on harassment prevention of all kinds. I have also overseen ethics compliance, public records requests and other governance matters for three of the largest state agencies/authorities in the Commonwealth.

I have hired and fired people, disciplined people, counseled people, downsized departments, reorganized departments, handled reductions of staff, assisted with significant internal and external investigations, conducted massive and targeted internal investigations, overseen audits, negotiated settlement agreements, handled crisis interventions, overseen death investigations with federal, state and local involvement, monitored and adhered to consent decrees, overseen and litigated class-action lawsuits, managed outside counsel and overseen thousands of cases per year. These real experiences make me the most qualified person for this job.

I have personally managed budgets of $6M dollars. In one certain circumstance, my budget was extended significantly higher than that amount."

3 - "Yes.

JNC - Governor Deval Patrick appointed me to the Judicial Nominating Commission where it was my privilege and honor to serve during his last term. In that appointed role, I, along with my 20 other JNC commissioners, was responsible for reviewing applications, interviewing and vetting candidates to serve as judges or clerk-magistrates in every court within the Commonwealth. Many of the applicants were seeking judicial appointments within Suffolk County. JNC commissioners were trained and required to have significant knowledge of the various court divisions throughout the Commonwealth and within Suffolk County. We also interviewed, vetted and recommended judges to the Appeals Court -- which of course is relevant experience because the SCDAO has an Appeals Unit.

MBTA & Massport - As General Counsel of the MBTA, I oversaw all of our litigation, which included extensive litigation within Suffolk County. The MBTA is an authority, so the Attorney General’s Office did not represent us when we were sued (unlike MassDOT, which is a state agency). This included appellate matters. As Chief Legal Counsel of Massport, I oversaw the litigation in the various courts throughout Suffolk County (e.g, East Boston District Court, Suffolk Superior Court, US District Court). This included criminal matters where Massport was the victim of cab driver bribery scheme.

APPELLATE CLERKSHIP - I am the only candidate that has clerked on the Massachusetts Appeals Court. The SCDAO has the busiest appellate team in the entire state. This extensive appellate knowledge will be critically helpful in gaining the trust and respect of the members of the Appeals Unit.

While an associate at Bingham McCutchen and as a practitioner, I have frequently handled matters in various District Courts throughout Suffolk County and occasionally in Superior Court. These matters ranged from OUIs and Restraining Orders to Civil Contempt Orders and Motions to Unseal Search Warrant Affidavits."

Grade Point Deductions:

(-0.0) Candidate has handled diverse range of trials in both civil and criminal courts

(-0.0) Candidate has directly supervised large numbers of employees, including responsibility for hiring and firing a diverse staff of attorneys, and has successfully overseen large budgets

(-0.0) Candidate has direct working knowledge of Massachusetts courts, including Suffolk County courts and BMC divisions

Final Grade: A (4.0 – 0.0 = 0.0)

Total Grade Points for this Section: 4.0 x 5% = 0.20

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Candidates had from July 8 2018 to July 23, 2018 to answer the following three questions to improve their grades. Only Rachael Rollins submitted complete answers by deadline +

  • How many criminal jury trials has the candidate first-chaired, and in which courts? (1 grade point)
  • Has the candidate ever managed a large staff? How many employees were under the candidate’s supervision? What size was the largest budget candidate ever managed? (2 grade points)
  • Does the candidate have an intimate working knowledge of municipal and superior court divisions in Suffolk County? (1 grade point)
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Greg Henning tries to dodge whether the Suffolk D.A.’s office has contributed to racial disparities during the Hibernian Hall debate

 
  • In 2016, DOC and the local sheriffs were warned that to improve public safety they needed to invest heavily in proven reentry and education programming. Instead, DOC gave its staff huge raises and the sheriffs hired more staff while multiple proven reentry programs were eliminated

  • Similarly, the City of Boston has 20+ years of data showing public health trauma intervention and prevention programs effectively prevent youth gun violence. Instead of fully funding and scaling the programs, the city invests hundreds of millions of dollars annually in a police department that is clearing, at last count, 4% of nonfatal shootings and roughly 30% of homicides annually

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Hibernian Hall Debate, June 7, 2018 +

1 - Do you think the current DA’s office has contributed to worsening racial disparities in the criminal justice system?

Perfect D.A. Scorecard Follow-up Questions +

1 - Does the candidate have a demonstrable track record prior to this campaign of speaking out and acting against disproportionate, unjust, wasteful, ineffective, and abusive public safety actors and practices? (2 grade points)

2 - Does the candidate commit to holding these various power structures accountable now, during the campaign, and going forward? Will the candidate agree to have assistant district attorneys read into the record after every case where a conviction results that DOC is getting increased funding every year and cutting reentry and education programs, and thereby putting the community in danger? Will the candidate agree to have district attorneys put on the record that the City of Boston is refusing to fund proven violence prevention programs? (2 grade points)

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Evandro Carvalho's Response +

1 - "Yes."

1,2 - N/A Candidate did not provide answers by deadline.

Grade Point Deductions:

(-1) The first bill the candidate filed as a state legislator was a bill to create a special prosecutor for police-involved shootings. Candidate wrote an op-ed in the Boston Globe identifying the breakdown in trust between community and police. No mention of structural impediments to reentry aside from needing funding

(-2) No mention of sheriffs or DOC giving themselves raises instead of funding reentry programs. No mention of holding City of Boston accountable for failing to invest in proven violence prevention programs. No mention of whether willing to put this information on the record in court

Grade: D (4.0 – 3.0 = 1.0)

Grade Points for this Section: 1.0 x .5% = 0.05

Linda Champion's Response +

1 - "Yes, but."

1,2 - N/A Candidate did not provide answers by deadline.

Grade Point Deductions:

(-2) Internet search reveals no prior history of public advocacy on issues of accountability. One public article found shows candidate asking for high cash bail in a punitive manner where there appeared to be very little risk of flight

(-2) No mention of sheriffs or DOC giving themselves raises instead of funding reentry programs. No mention of holding City of Boston accountable for failing to invest in proven violence prevention programs. No mention of whether willing to put important information on the record in court

Grade: F (4.0 – 4.0 = 0.0)

Grade Points for this Section: 0.0 x 5% = 0.00

Greg Henning's Response +

1 - "Yes" (but very reluctantly).

1,2 - N/A Candidate did not provide answers by deadline.

Grade Point Deductions:

(-2) Internet search reveals no prior history of public advocacy on issues of accountability. Multiple public articles show candidate repeatedly asking for high bail as an assistant district attorney

(-1.5) Candidate only candidate who mentioned DOC getting increased funding while prison population declines. No mention of holding City of Boston accountable for failing to invest in proven violence prevention programs. No mention of whether willing to put important information on the record in court

Grade: F (4.0 – 3.5 = 0.5)

Grade Points for this Section: 0.5 x 5% = 0.03

Shannon McAuliffe's Response +

1 - "Yes."

1,2 - N/A Candidate did not provide answers by deadline.

Grade Point Deductions:

(-1) Internet search reveals substantial prior history of public advocacy on issues of accountability, but rarely naming individuals or agencies responsible

(-2) Candidate has not mentioned DOC getting increased funding while prison population declines. No mention of holding City of Boston accountable for failing to invest in proven violence prevention programs. No mention of whether willing to put important this important information on the record in court

Grade: D (4.0 – 3.0 = 1.0)

Grade Points for this Section: 1.0 x .5% = 0.05

Rachael Rollins's Response +

1 - "Yes."

1 - "Yes. Approximately 15 years ago, while I was a young attorney at Bingham McCutchen, I worked with the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and sued the Boston Police Department for race discrimination against black police officers.

Approximately 10 years ago, as an AUSA, I was one of the first attorneys in the newly formed Civil Rights Unit. In that role, I and worked closely with MAMLEO and the New England Area Council of the NAACP and advocated for a pattern and practice investigation into practices by the Boston Police Department against black and latino officers. This can be confirmed by speaking to Larry Ellison of MAMLEO or Juan Coffield of NEAC.

As the President of the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association, I worked hard to call the media out on their continued practice of only representing communities of color as violent or downtrodden. I instituted community service programs and community clean-ups in the Bowdoin-Geneva neighborhood (which had just endured numerous shooting deaths). I rallied Commissioner Davis, DA Conley and over 75 volunteers to come out and do something positive in the neighborhood. This practice has continued since my term ended.

As one of two black members of the Judicial Nominating Commission, I was extremely vocal about the lack of diversity on the bench in Massachusetts. I was also outspoken about the different, higher standards candidates of color (specifically black and latino) where being held to during the various levels of inquiry. This frequently happened during the due diligence phase.

Two years ago, I was asked to become the Chair of Legal Redress for the Boston Branch of the NAACP. In that role, I receive all of the complaint line calls, monitor all of the consent decree litigation and serve as an appointed member on the Attorney General Healey’s Advisory Committee on Racial Equity and Justice. As an active member of the Advisory Committee, I (along with Rahsaan Hall) was selected to speak to DA Conley about his opposition to much of the Criminal Justice Reform Bills. We engaged in a tense discussion with DA Conley about his position on mandatory minimums, his refusal to take any responsibility for the racial disparities within the criminal justice system, and the lack of diversity in his office. Both Shannon and Greg were in this meeting. Neither said barely a word.

Now, I am running for DA. As a black women, a single mother, a guardian to my two nieces, and a sibling to formerly incarcerated loved ones, I want to bring my voice, and the voice of people like me, to this office. We need someone with empathy in this role. Someone with a lived experience, not just a learned one. In addition, we need someone who is capable and qualified to do the job. I am that person."

2 - "Yes. Yes. Yes. Like DA Krasner in Philadelphia, I will also require my ADA’s to read into the record the cost of incarceration per person per year; the rising prison labor costs per year, and the continued reduction in funding of programs for incarcerated individuals within HOC and DOC facilities."

Grade Point Deductions:

(-0.0) Candidate has substantial prior history of advocacy on issues of accountability

(-0.0) Candidate commits to holding power actors responsible for wasteful, unjust, and abusive practices, and to enter into the record when partner agencies refuse to fund programs proven to increase public safety.

Grade: A (4.0 – 0.0 = 4.0)

Grade Points for this Section: 4.0 x 5% = 0.20

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Candidates had from July 8, 2018 to July 23, 2018 to answer the following two questions to improve their grades. Only Rachael Rollins submitted complete answers by deadline +

  • Does the candidate have a demonstrable track record prior to this campaign of speaking out and acting against disproportionate, unjust, wasteful, ineffective, and abusive public safety actors and practices? (2 grade points)
  • Does the candidate commit to holding these various power structures accountable now, during the campaign, and going forward? Will the candidate agree to have assistant district attorneys read into the record after every case where a conviction results that DOC is getting increased funding every year and cutting reentry and education programs, and thereby putting the community in danger? Will the candidate agree to have district attorneys put on the record that the City of Boston is refusing to fund proven violence prevention programs? (2 grade points)
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The Perfect D.A. would like to thank Leon Smith for his legal insight and analysis, Nasrene Haj for her stellar production work, Kristin Johnson for gathering and collating data from the OCPF database, and Mardi Fuller for moral encouragement. The Perfect D.A. would also like to thank Jordan Berg Powers, Jonathan Cohn, Ziba Cranmer, and Calvin Feliciano for providing feedback during the development of this evaluation tool. 

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